Needy Or Greedy?

With thousands of evacuees headed to East Texas, it's getting hard to tell who's who, and that makes it easy for gracious volunteer groups and disaster relief agencies to get taken advantage of.

Linda Smelley, executive director for Lufkin's Christian Information Service Center, said, "Sometimes, to get to the needy you have to go through a few greedy people. We're not going to be the judge and jury, but we are experienced in getting a file and researching these people, and being sure that they are indeed from this storm."

That's why many charitable organizations work with the Red Cross to find out who's really down on their luck, and who's looking to get lucky.

"I don't want to say we're experts at catching scammers, that's not a way to put it, but we do have a lot of practice. We do have to be good stewards with this food because it's paid for by the churches and the donors."

Making sure a helping hand goes to those who really need it and not to people trying to exploit a desperate situation.